Did Cameroonians Betray Biya?

2 Jul

By Nwanatifu Nwaco

As funny as it may sound, Biya in the past five years has embarked on an image cleansing agenda and legacy seeking plan. He wants to bow out with some credits to his name. If you doubt me, check out his poverty reduction strategy paper currently implemented. Besides Cameroon has become ‘a major construction site’ if I want to paraphrase him. We need to sometimes move away from this staunch opposition mentality that views everything from government as being bad or ill intentioned. The man has locked up his best friends for a start to re-win the credibility he had before 1988, he has championed central African regional integration in monetary, institutional and infrastructure terms- with new trans-African road networks to his neighbours, a regional parliament and community passport. 

There is an ongoing surge in developing the education sector, the legal system, a nascent electoral system and energy potentials of Cameroon with two new ports, an extended and marked for modernization rail system, thermal and hydroelectric power plants, new markets and trade with Southern bloc countries have reduced the sway held by the traditional western partners. Mineral exploitation governance has improved and diversified. A state department in charge of the diaspora has even seen the light of day to promote and coordinate the input of the Cameroonian diaspora. By the time he finishes his repentance and confession, we’ll wish we forgave him only when we realize he’s no longer there. The problem is we’re all deeply drowned in the anti government thinking so much so that we can’t see any ray of hope’s light! 

Yes, our problems as Cameroonians are very material but nowadays they’re more mental! Government is calm but it’s citizens are in a state of mental emergency to eat the national cake wherever they have access to public office. The problems of tomorrow will not come from Biya but will come from you and I who chose to do nothing when we could do something! We bribed to go to the ‘Grand Ecoles de l’Etat’ not because we wanted to serve Cameroon but more because we wanted to be where we can bleed and bleach the state and our fellow compatriots.

Tomorrow Biya will have a legacy that he knew the diagnosis for the worms eating in his stomach and took some medication to rid himself of them, the only flaw being that the worms had developed immunity to the drugs he was taking to remedy his system, his apologists shall blame the opposition and politically apathetic Cameroonians for failing to enter coalitions with him for the common good of Cameroonians, for favouring the spoils politics of exclusion and ethno-linguistic marginalization in the administrative and economic distribution of national goods and services!  The business people who are importers-exporters, the customs, taxation and other trade officials, law and security officials are not free from the guilt or accusation of dragging Cameroon into the mud with their demand and payment of bribes to under-over-value their goods and services, to lend their skill and expertise towards the repression of agitating citizens or aid armed groups to dispossess people of their properties.

Biya may have kept a brood of bad companions but for the Cameroonians who went to Enam, Cuss, Ens and other civil service personnel recruitment institutes of learning, whom after graduation and integration into public service and were posted to job stations rather chose to move abroad with these skills while still earning salaries back at home, meanwhile their compatriots roamed the secretariats of ministries searching for employment opportunities are in  no way innocent. All those who got the opportunities they now have not because of the grades they made in school but more because of the mediocre family members and friends they had in positions of influence and decision making are guilty of corrupting this country.

The clergy men who stood by and watched the youth and faithful of their creed visit hate and injustice against others or indulged in social vices without their call to order are no better. The private sector employer is to be blamed when they probate a job seeker for more than six months on little or no wage just to fire him at the end to hire another to repeat the same selfless free service kills entrepreneurship and career ambitions in youths, this has pushed many into make ends meet jobs or into total reliance on government for employment.

 The thousands of self-exiled unemployed graduates whom despite economic and academic breakthroughs abroad have vowed not to transfer their skill and newly earned  capabilities back to Cameroon have equally done dis-service to the country. We’re anti-democratic when we accept 90 year olds into our first ever senate without a word of dissent or taking up the mantle and call of leadership to put forward ours or a youth’s candidacy for public office, we’re accomplices to our weak institutions when we fail to articulate and aggregate for the establishment of constitutional institutions 20 years after they were created.

 Biya does not have a monopoly over the woes and murky waters in which Cameroon has sank so deep, Cameroonians are responsible for their failures to become dynamic citizens and patriots by their over-dependence and survivalist preference of a centralized government as though communism was embedded in their consciences, far away from the reality that they were part of a very competitive people and  market driven international political and economic system. Democrats like tyrants come and go, but the  tyranny of the democratic masses always remains.  The day Africans will stop criticizing and support their “repented” leaders in the governance system is the day change will come for real.

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